‘Up in the Air’ sings in the Colorado mountains

Posted by · 5:08 pm · September 5th, 2009

I wouldn’t dare review Jason Reitman’s “Up in the Air” via iPhone from an in-transit gondola, but I’m compelled to write something immediately.

The film is a triumph. It drips with Reitman’s passion, his love for his wife and child, his assessment of his own journey into adulthood. He just finished telling the audience at the Chuck Jones Theater that it’s probably the most personal film he’ll ever make. One can certainly understand the sentiment.

I’ll get into this more later, but I consider it a four-star knockout that couldn’t have hit the country and, to speak personally, me, at a more perfect time.

→ 30 Comments Tags: , , | Filed in: Daily

30 responses so far

  • 1 9-05-2009 at 5:23 pm

    Zac said...

    My expectations for this keeps going up with every glowing review. I really like Thank You for Smoking and loved Juno, so I was already anticipating this.

  • 2 9-05-2009 at 5:37 pm

    Loyal said...

    “it a four-star knockout that couldn’t have hit the country and, to speak personally, me, at a more perfect time.”

    Can’t wait to hear more about that Kris, especially the US bit. I’m also curious about Clooney’s work in the film.

  • 3 9-05-2009 at 5:37 pm

    Zan said...

    I am anticipating this purely because I saw what he could do as a director in “Thank You For Smoking.” “Juno” tried to fall in line too much with being edgy and indie with its music and its script, but I think if this is Reitman’s most personal work, it’s going to be an awards season player for sure.

  • 4 9-05-2009 at 5:47 pm

    Brian said...

    You know I love it when you talk to me like this, Kris.

  • 5 9-05-2009 at 6:28 pm

    Dan said...

    Fuck me!

  • 6 9-05-2009 at 6:31 pm

    david said...

    Kris…granted I haven’t had a chance to see Up in the Air yet (obviously)…but what is with your fascination with Reitman and his work?? I mean you were like totally psyched to see this film even before you knew for sure how good or bad it would really be. I wish I could share your passion for this guy…maybe this film will help to make me understand. Do you think this film will find more then mild audience support outside the film festival circuit, and critical circles?? Like a Juno (which I thought was extremely overrated)??

  • 7 9-05-2009 at 6:47 pm

    Dan said...

    By the way, I think I mentioned it in another post, but that’s the same gondola I got engaged in this January. Wish I were there!

  • 8 9-05-2009 at 6:49 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    david: In a nutshell, I just think he’s an incredible young talent. I loved Juno and am in print on that one, and I thought Thank You for Smoking was a solid debut. I get excited when someone is this consistent so early in his or her career. That’s all.

    I was jacked for this film because I was hearing so many good things out of test screenings and — of course — from the studio. I want the guy to succeed, and as ever, was fully prepared to be disappointed. I’m obviously quite pleased that the film exceeded my expectations (and judging from the enthusiastic crowd response, I don’t expect to be alone).

    And I think this film could be his most commercial. It is more intimate than the other two in many ways. But it straddles the line between commercial and art house very well, with the expected sheen of quality comedy writing.

  • 9 9-05-2009 at 6:49 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Dan: Congrats!

  • 10 9-05-2009 at 6:49 pm

    Lori said...

    MUST SEE IT…BRAVO!!! I hope you are very satisfied with all the positive coming at you when this was so personal. Well done! ; )

  • 11 9-05-2009 at 6:55 pm

    AmericanRequiem said...

    alright kris, better then juno? and if yes, how much better? best pic nom, best actor? writing? anything else?

  • 12 9-05-2009 at 7:09 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I’m not comparing films to other films for you anymore, Req, sorry. It’s a disservice, pointless.

    As for awards, I think Best Pic, Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, maybe Best Supporting Actress and there’s an original song, but it’s over the credits, so it might not make the cut. But it’s a great tune. Maybe film editing, but that’d be a tough sell.

  • 13 9-05-2009 at 7:16 pm

    david said...

    I just didn’t see anything “incredible” about his first two films. I do agree he’s a solid young filmmaker. You mentioned that the film spoke to you on a personal level. Without giving too much of the film away, I’d love to have you elaborate on that, if you feel comfortable doing so. Also, I found your “I want the guy to succeed” comment very interesting. That’s not something you usually hear a critic say. Kind of refreshing actually. I’m just wondering if this film will find an audience. Like you mentioned, it sounds as if it’s a cross between a mainstream, and art-house film. Like something Wes Anderson, or Woody Allen might have directed.

  • 14 9-05-2009 at 7:16 pm

    Loyal said...

    Kris, when you wrote “couldn’t have hit the country and, to speak personally, me, at a more perfect time,” were you referring to the current economy crisis since Clooney’s character is a corporate downsizing expert? Or is it something else?

  • 15 9-05-2009 at 7:32 pm

    Danny said...

    Great to hear you liked the film. I’m also a big Reitman fan, it’s great to see he is so connected with his material.

  • 16 9-05-2009 at 7:43 pm

    Brian said...

    Not best director Kris? That be a damn shame. His nomination for Juno was extremely well deserved.

    For supporting, Vera or Kendrick?

    Is Adapted basically Education vs Precious vs Up in the Air? Sounds like a great fight.

    This better fucking be a AFI Fest. I don’t want to wait til Christmas.

  • 17 9-05-2009 at 8:58 pm

    Jorge said...

    Anna Kendrick or Vera Kris? No Jason Reitman – was that a typo? I’ve heard he’s the best thing about it?

  • 18 9-06-2009 at 12:07 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    david: I think it will find an audience. It will surely be shrewdly marketed. And there’s nothing about it that would turn off a populist crowd.

    Loyal: Precisely.

    Best Director is a definite possibility, FYI. I just think it’s a tougher get than the rest. But it should have been included.

    It’s tough to pick between Kendrick and Farmiga. There are some here saying both. I don’t think that will happen, however. Both roles serve completely different functions, so it depends on how individual members take to the performances.

  • 19 9-06-2009 at 12:14 am

    JAB said...

    Supporting Actress is shaping up to be a cool little race… Mo’nique is the shoe in, then it seems like everything else will come from Up in the Air, Nine, and The Lovely Bones.

  • 20 9-06-2009 at 12:29 am

    Joel said...

    Wow. I need to see this now. NEED. Can’t wait. Thanks, Kris.

  • 21 9-06-2009 at 1:22 am

    red_wine said...

    The single worst nomination of 2007, the absolute ridiculous turkey was Reitman getting nominated for Best Director. I was resigned to the fact that Juno,however trivial,was gonna be nominated for Best Picture but Best Director was a complete WTF and out of the blue. Its akin to nominating something like Enchanted for Best Director.

  • 22 9-06-2009 at 1:40 am

    Brian said...


  • 23 9-06-2009 at 2:01 am

    AmericanRequiem said...

    “I’m not comparing films to other films for you anymore, Req, sorry. It’s a disservice, pointless.”
    Is this why people write rude things to you? It was just a question, sorry.

  • 24 9-06-2009 at 2:13 am

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    How’s George in the movie?

  • 25 9-06-2009 at 3:13 am

    Alex said...

    Get cracking on the review Kris. What am I paying you for?

  • 26 9-06-2009 at 4:38 am

    RichardA said...

    I cannot wait to see.

  • 27 9-06-2009 at 6:47 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Sorry if it came off rude, Req, I was just frustrated that you keep asking whether films are better or worse than this or that film and I’m just not always willing to think in those terms.

  • 28 9-09-2009 at 1:30 pm

    Jill said...

    Did we all see the same film? I saw the second screening in Telluride and found it mediocre at best. I also talked to many people afterwards who conclusively agreed.

    Don’t believe the hype.